Watermelon Roses

A collection of random thoughts, commentaries, and journaling. There is a lot to explore here, including links to other sites of mine. These are mostly for my own benefit, but guests are welcome to browse and explore as much or as little as they like.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


K and I went to one of our favorite restaurants, Palisade, to celebrate our 12th anniversary tonight. I took my camera with every intention of having the waitress capture the moment, but with my memory being what it is, the camera stayed safely tucked away in my purse all night. You'll have to take my word for it that the restaurant was beautiful, as always, the fresh rose petals and candle on the table added a lovely touch, as did the handwritten card left for us by the Palisade staff, and we looked gorgeous. While we're at it, let's just say that we even looked twenty pounds slimmer tonight, because the lighting was just that good.

Today also marks the day that Rayan is exactly the same age that Mina was when Layla was born. As I reminisced over an old photo album comparing Mina and Rayan, I picked a few of my favorite pictures to share with you.

Our baby Mina was suddenly a giant when compared to new baby Layla!

We look so young! This was outside our apartment in Queens, NY.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sliding Into the New Year

We spent the first day of 2008 sledding on Mt. Rainier! Actually, we spent most of the morning planning and packing, most of the afternoon daylight hours driving and installing snow chains, and arrived at the snow play area just about the time I was hoping to round everyone up and head back down the mountain to avoid having to drive on it at night. Of course, we stayed there until just before dusk turned to dark. I also discovered that it's not easy convincing one's mother not to worry after giving her the necessary details to give to the park rangers if we should fail to make it down the mountain and call her by a certain time. I didn't even mention the half-dozen people who have already been lost to avalanches this season on Mt. Rainier, figuring it wouldn't really ease her mind even if I pointed out that we wouldn't be in an avalanche area most of the time.

This man really loves his tires! Either that, or K's installing snow chains for the first time.

The reason we needed snow chains.

Now we know why the snow depth poles are so high!

The view on the way up.

The sledding area in front of Mt. Rainier.

K was trying to corral the children near a great wall of snow as I was getting Rayan into his snowsuit. I glanced over at them just in time to see a fluffy black fox standing atop that wall right over their heads, looking down at them as though he was trying to gauge whether or not he could make the jump safely before his dinner got away. Torn between taking a picture and warning the family, I dutifully chose the warning. With a sideways glance at me, the fox stepped back out of sight, reappearing twice more at different points along the top of the snowy ridge before finding his way down and worrying those of us who had to pass him on the way to the sledding hill. I've encountered these bold Rainier foxes before, and I need to read up on how to act around them. I'm not sure which of my responses are more likely to provoke an attack or which are more likely to turn them away. I have learned, however, that standing there taking their pictures only reinforces their belief that I am silly and easy prey. I don't do that anymore!

We weren't quite sure how to handle Rayan on the sledding hill, so I stayed at the bottom with him while K took Layth and Maya to the top. They had a great time sledding while I tried to keep Rayan out of the yellow snow and away from moving cars while keeping an eye out for that fox. When dusk drained the color from the world, we headed back to the car and waited for them to come down. The sole injury of the day was an abrasion on the heel of my hand when I slipped on the ice. Not bad!

As usual, Rayan was happy just walking around.

A trio of sledders!

We made it down with 15 minutes to spare before they locked the gates across the mountain road and made us spend the night up there, so we rewarded ourselves with dinner at the lodge. Wasn't it just three days ago that I reminded myself not to take my children out to dinner for at least two more months? Why yes, I believe it was. I need to listen to myself more often. What a noisy, stressful meal!

Too worn out to even make it up the stairs. I know the feeling!

After getting the sleepy children into their beds and texting our safe arrival to my mother so she could sleep peacefully, I began to ponder my new year resolutions. There's weight loss, of course. What would a new year be without weight loss or fitness resolutions? The myriad resolutions that filled my mind included: being better at staying in touch with friends who are actually making an effort to stay in touch with me (Liz, Jeanne, Michael, and Rebecca, I owe you all apologies,) getting more sleep (oops, already failing that one,) staying on top of housework, keeping my blog current, and sorting through the hundreds of boxes that we never want to move again. Fairly certain that if I try to tackle too many resolutions at once, I'll fail them all, I decided that my primary resolution this year will be to finish writing a children's book that I've been toying with off and on since 2002 and to send it to a few publishers to see if it is marketable.

May we all keep our resolutions this year ... happy new year to you all!